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Seed Destructor on Course for Commercial Production

09 February 2012

AUSTRALIA - The Harrington Seed Destructor is edging closer towards commercial production, offering an additional strategy in the grains industry’s battle against herbicide resistance in weeds.

Designed to destroy weed seeds present in chaff during harvest, the Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded HSD recently completed a series of harvest trials and demonstrations for growers in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

The results of those trials will be known in March-April this year when the season-opening rains stimulate germination of weeds, particularly annual ryegrass.

The trials and evaluations are being overseen by Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) researcher, Dr Michael Walsh, who says the trial sites will be revisited as soon as the break in the season occurs to assess the efficacy of the unit in reducing annual ryegrass emergence.

“We are hoping for an early, widespread break so we can undertake the evaluations before growers apply herbicides,” said Dr Walsh, who is based at the University of Western Australia.

Dr Walsh said the trials and demonstrations in the southern cropping region during December involved 15 sites over 16 days and a travelling distance of 4000 kilometres during that time.

“We were very happy with how the trials went. It was a huge success in terms of the number of grain growers who came out to see the HSD in action, and the feedback from growers was very positive,” he said.

Dr Walsh commended trial site coordinators, grain growers and landowners for their support and assistance with the trials program: “It was a fantastic team effort by everyone involved.”

He said the trials, conducted as part of a new Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation-funded project focussing on harvest weed seed management systems, had demonstrated that the core principals of the machine’s cage mill were sound and that only some minor fine-turning of the HSD was required before it entered into commercial production, possibly this year. The GRDC is managing the commercial development of the HSD.

Those involved in development of the HSD stress that it is not a “silver bullet in weed management” but is in fact one more string in the bow of overall integrated weed management.

TheCropSite News Desk



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